Vital Football

Manuel Fernandes To Leave Pompey

Manuel Fernandes To Leave Pompey

The rumours started circulating some weeks ago that not all was well with Manuel Fernandes and Pompey. This weekend saw rumours increase that he would soon exit Fratton Park, this has now been confirmed.

The exciting and highly rated Portuguese International has hardly featured for Pompey since arriving in August in a loan deal from Benfica, ahead of what was expected to be a permanent signing in January for a fee anywhere between £4 and £10 million depending on what reports you would read! As it is he will now return to Benfica in January

His lack of involvement regularly raised concerns from fans, with him often going several games without even being a part of the match day squad. Having played the previous two matches it was expected that he would feature again against Arsenal at the weekend then rumours started filtering trough that perhaps there was a problem with the finances available to Harry Redknapp and he was under pressure NOT to play him.

It has now been revealed that apparently a clause put in the loan agreement meant that should Fernandes play three matches running we would automatically have to pay a £12 million fee for the 20-year-old, an amount that is crazy even in today's market for a largely unknown and realistically untested talent especially when the amount would have been paid by Pompey, which would have been three times that of the current transfer record. Harry Redknapp said.

"The fee is £12m and I don't want to pay £12m."

"I've spoken to Manuel about it and even he thinks the price is too high."

"All I know is if he starts three Premier League games in a row, a permanent deal clicks in. I didn't do the deal. It wasn't my idea. I inherited it."

Obviously a £12 million fee is a fee agreed by with the club (by someone past or present?) and one that we would have to pay regardless, as if this wasn't the case surely we would merely kept playing him and every time the third game approached we'd leave him out and just pick him up for a smaller fee in January? As it is he will now go back to Benfica in the new year unless this saga takes yet another twist, which is unlikely.

This latest setback raises concerns that perhaps Sacha Gaydamak doesn't have the funds we felt he did but although it does leave you slightly worrying as with Pompey you never really know what is what as more often than not there is something lurking round the corner, but £12 million is a lot for any player and if he or Redknapp doesn't want to pay that for Fernandes then it doesn't mean he hasn't got it, it merely means he doesn't choice to spent it here.

The whole situation has, for lack of a better phrase "stank from the very beginning", Why clauses such as the "£12 million" one have been agreed we'll never know, but you can almost guarantee this won't be the last we see of Fernandes in the Premiership, no doubt he'll be back sooner rather than later possibly wearing a Manchester United shirt!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday December 18 2006
Time: 6:56PM


It wouldn't surprise me if it is just that 'arry doesn't rate the player as much as he thought he would so using this "£12m" clause is a get out of jail free card. We've not seen a lot of Manuel so we can't really miss what we didn't have. If the price was right I'd take him but don't want us to risk a fortune if we're not sure. With this said hopefully we'll go for Appiah, who always said he wanted to join so let's get him and Shaun Wright-Phillips in January, two proven players who wouldn’t cost much more than £12m put together…
18/12/2006 19:02:00
I just hope it doesn't turn out we don't have any money full stop...
18/12/2006 19:03:00
I agree he aint worth £12m. If we were going to spend £12m you could get 2 or 3 good players but lets hope we do have the money to strengthen come January.
18/12/2006 20:07:00
Has hardly set the house alight when he's played and you can fully understand Harry's reasons for not willing to pay £12m. I believe you have enough quality in midfield to allow him to leave in January.
18/12/2006 20:25:00
Sean Davis cost around 3.5M and is keeping Fernandes out - do we want a 12M reserve ? No ! But he's a great talent nevertheless !
18/12/2006 20:40:00
3 mill i would pay
18/12/2006 21:12:00
With Owen Hargreaves on his way to ManU and SAF recalling all his loan players will he need Fernandes? Perhaps Benfica may be tempted to dramatically reduce the asking price to a more realistic figure say £3-4m?
19/12/2006 12:26:00
As you may recall i have been asking the question why wasnt he playing. How can he be valued if he does not play regularly and my info is that the 12 mill story is not strictly true ( but as pompey fans we knew that), it was the originally agreed deal possibly rising to 12 depending on appearances. Our club does not have the money is said to be defaulting on the agreed payment. most think the club are trying to knock benfica down. This is a risky strategy and once again our club reputation looks less than brilliant
19/12/2006 13:10:00
The other issue is the disturbing effect on the current players and those we hope to sign. Until then we should only really start to worry about finances if we hear that old Redknapp chestnut "its got to be the RIGHT players" cos then you know things are getting tight.
19/12/2006 13:19:00
Lot of £
19/12/2006 14:23:00
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